Sunday, April 3, 2011

Sorta-liveblogging general conference: Sunday afternoon session

And now we get to the mellow session of general conference—the casual listeners have tuned out by now, and so the speakers get to relax a little, i think.

Also, like with the last session, i’ll also be participating in Faith-Promoting Rumor’s open thread for this session of conference.

And so, one more time, your guide to the way this post is set up: The entries for the session are arranged bottom-up, with the first speaker at the end of the post, preceded by the second speaker, and so on, with the final speaker at the top of the post—but with each speaker’s entries given in the order i write them. This means that the start of the session is down by the bottom of this post.

Thomas S. Monson (president of the high priesthood)
  • Gratitude to the general membership of the church.
  • A reminder of Easter, and of what it celebrates.
Robert D. Hales didn’t have a speaking slot? I’d heard he was ill, but it generally takes a lot for someone at that level of church leadership to miss speaking in a general conference.

Jeffrey R. Holland (of the quorum of apostles)
  • Elder Holland is speaking a lot slower than Elder Grow did.
  • A discussion of what general conference is—very meta.
  • Ah! He’s playing with the historical meaning of “angel”—very nice.
  • Nice reminder that the beatitudes were a lead-in to harder teachings.
  • Interesting discussion of the tightrope general conference speakers walk in condemning sin and praising good.
  • More or less, he just gave us permission to ignore general conference addresses that don’t apply to us. Well, then. That makes things a little easier.
  • A reminder that Thomas S. Monson also functions as the senior apostle.
C. Scott Grow (of the seventy)
  • [Insert obligatory joke about his name here.]
  • Nothing groundbreaking or even particularly noteworthy in this address, but simply a solid and very basic discussion of the atonement and repentance.
  • Agency is involved in both sin and repentance.
Benjamín de Hoyos (of the seventy)
  • I do like it when the appellation “saints” gets applied to members of the church. I generally use “Mormons” myself, but “saints” is a more descriptive one (and both are more evocative than “LDS”).
  • Having fellowship with the saints is a blessing.
Lynn G. Robbins (of the seventy)
  • “To do” is an event, “to be” isn’t a one-time thing.
  • More trials and chastening!
  • Praise children’s characteristics, rather than accomplishments.
  • This was a very practically-oriented address.

When i was growing up, my ward sang “Come, Ye Children of the Lord” all the time. It was rather a shock to move elsewhere and find out that lots of people had never sung it in their meetings.

Carl B. Pratt (of the seventy)
  • Getting the wrong moral for the story: It’s good to be on the right end of an exchange rate disparity.
  • It’s not whether you’re paying tithing out of abundance or scarcity, it’s whether you’re obeying that commandment.
  • Thank you, thank you, thank you for explicitly stating that blessings from tithing are not necessarily financial!
  • Interesting idea: Paying tithing leads to a selfless attitude, which helps prevent divorce.
D. Todd Christofferson (of the quorum of apostles)
  • He’s offering a pretty pointed critique of modern Xianity. I’m not sure if it’s entirely fair, really.
  • This address makes for an interesting compare and contrast with Paul V. Johnson’s address in the previous session.
  • Hey, wow! I mention Paul V. Johnson, and then D. Todd Christofferson makes explicit reference to that address. That must count for something at my end, right? Right?
  • I’ve never understood why Hugh B. Brown was supposed to be thankful for being denied a promotion. I mean, it’s not like he’d’ve been ineligible to be an apostle if he’d achieved a higher military rank.
  • The 11-year-old notes that he has a preference for talking into the side of the microphone.
  • Well, here’s one apostle who refers to members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as Mormons…
  • He’s now explicitly tied his remarks in to two other addresses at this conference.
  • Interesting application of “my spirit shall not always strive with man”.
Richard G. Scott (of the quorum of apostles)
  • It’s always a bit poignant when speakers i know are widow(er)s talk about sealings.
  • Seriously, what is it with the repeated “guys, get married now!” meme at this conference?
  • A mention of the important of not just physical, but also mental fidelity to one’s spouse.
  • Expressing gratitude to one’s spouse will make life, among other things, more meaningful. Interesting point.
  • Lots of reminiscences today.
  • Marrying early prevents people from developing negative character traits?! I can’t have heard that one right.
  • There were some beautiful tributes to deceased family members in this address.

Lots of primary songs at this running of general conference.

That may have been the longest prayer of this conference. Even if it wasn’t, the prayers have been nicely short as a rule.

The organ part (well, the entire arrangement really) of “I Saw a Mighty Angel Fly“ was most excellent—very Shaker-sounding, too.

Henry B. Eyring (of the first presidency)
  • Nice smile!
Opening thought: I look at everybody up on the stand (quietly) exchanging hellos and thoughts, sometimes laughing, and i wonder about the desire for absolute silence before and after meetings so many of the leaders of units i’ve lived in have had.


The Septic Tank Blog said...
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Combitos said...

About your "opening thought": I went to conference once and saw Prez Hinckley tapping people in the audience (on the top of the head) with his cane to get their attention (and a laugh) so he could say hello. From a few rows back it sure looked like there were plenty greetings and hellos happening during the opening. Totally had the same thought as you!